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Life

Ten Ways Ryder Hesjedal Changed Canada Forever

TYEE LIST #15: Victoria's cycling boystar didn't 'just' win the Giro d'Italia.

By Steve Burgess 2 Jun 2012 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess wrote this dispatch from Rome.

This week Victoria's Ryder Hesjedal won the Giro d'Italia, Italy's most prestigious bicycle race. Naturally there will be consequences. Some possible ramifications:

1. The international cycling success of Ryder Hesjedal will popularize the long Canadian tradition of utilitarian naming. Just as Tim Horton's destiny was set the moment his parents named him after a doughnut chain, Ryder Hesjedal's path was set from birth. From "Boom Boom" Geoffrion to "Prime Minister" Harper, properly-labelled Canadians never doubt what is expected of them. Now the world will take approving note.

2. Although Hesjedal's victory will increase the global prestige of Canadian cyclists, it will unfortunately blacken the reputation of Canadian spelling.

3. Acclaim for Hesjedal's success will combine with popular misconceptions about Canadian strategies to revolutionize cycling. Italian, Spanish, and Dutch cyclists will be instructed in the slew foot, the can opener, and the best method for pulling the sweater over your opponent's head.

4. Convinced that Canadians must be the best at everything, Italians will throw out all their previous ideas about cuisine and start serving spaghetti with cheese curds and gravy. Also: maple lasagna.

5. Molson's, Labbatt's and Moosehead will be added to the list of banned substances.

6. Angry at Canada for taking home a cherished Italian trophy, Juventus will enter the NHL. They will go on to set records for most unsportsmanlike penalties and most consecutive penalty shootouts before winning the Stanley Cup thanks to Italian national hero Roberto Luongo. And a zebra conspiracy organized by Gary Bettman.

7. Victoria's Steve Nash will take up competitive cycling. "Big deal," Nash will say. "Anybody can ride a bike."

8. Critical Mass will become Lycra-mandatory.

9. Chaos will descend on Vancouver streets as pelotons clog bike lanes, complete with guys in devil costumes waving plastic pitchforks as they run alongside. Mayor Gregor Robertson will go down to defeat in 2016 after local bicycle commuters are hit with a wave of doping allegations.

10. Hesjedal's attempt to defend his Giro d'Italia title will be cut short in the Roman Senate March 15, 2013 when he is surrounded by a peloton and repeatedly water bottled. At the final squirt he will gasp: "Et tu, Steve Nash? Then falls Hesjedal."  [Tyee]

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